Doubts as North Korea declares itself covid-free

While the world is taking almost three years to recover from the Coronavirus pandemic, North Korea has successfully overcome the virus in less than four months. The announcement was made by the country’s Supreme leader, Kim Jung-un, who also ordered the lifting of all restrictions imposed due to the outbreak of what was described as a “fever.”

The supreme leader said the country must maintain a “steel-strong anti-epidemic barrier and intensify the anti-epidemic work until the end of the global health crisis.”

Since the sudden outbreak of the virus in North Korea, the country has reported daily numbers of cases of fever totaling 4.77 million. On July 29, the DPRK stopped the daily records, which suggested that the government had either defeated the so-called fever or it wants to portray itself as having done so.


The remarks made by the sister of the country’s leader suggested that Kim Jung-un could have contracted the virus and was seriously ill.

“Even though he was seriously ill with a high fever, he could not lie down for a moment thinking about the people he had to take care of until the end in the face of the anti-epidemic war,” Kim’s sister said while stating the country’s effort in the fight against the virus.

Although she did not elaborate on his brother’s health, Kim Yo-Jung accused South Korea of infecting North Korea with the virus and threatened to “wipe out” the government in Seoul.

“We can no longer overlook the uninterrupted influx of rubbish from South Korea,” Kim Yo-Jung said. “Our countermeasure must be a deadly retaliatory one.”

Only 74 persons out of the 4.77 million patients died during the outbreak. Ri Chung Gil, the country’s anti-Covid chief, has described it as an “unprecedented miracle.”


The rest of the world, especially the west, believes whatever information out of North Korea will only be the truth after further investigations are conducted. The claims by North Korea that it has overcome the pandemic are doubtful to most people.

Yang Moo-jin, a professor in the study of North Korea, said it could be a way of telling China that it is ready for trade.

“The meeting seems primarily aimed at fostering unity among the people, but could also be to send a message to China that they’re Covid-free and ready to restart trade,” professor Yang Moo-jin said.

Another researcher in the U.S, Martyn Williams, questioned the 100% wearing of masks if truly the country has overcome the virus.

“As of Wednesday evening, state TV was still showing 100% mask wearing in public activities, but the longer cases remain at zero, I think the greater the public will question the continued limitations on their lives,” Williams said as reported by CNBC.

“Whatever the truth behind the numbers, this is the story being told to the North Korean citizens. And right now the numbers are telling them that the epidemic is over,” Martyn Williams added.

North Korea claims to have overcome the virus after no known vaccination program in the country. Pyongyang said it relied on lockdowns and home-grown medicines to counter the virus in three months. The only thing remaining is a congratulatory message from at least one country in the world.